Nothing But New Releases
This has been an astounding week for new music. In the last few days we have seen new records from Laura Marling, Earl Sweatshirt, Action Bronson and Courtney Barnett (and these are just the albums that I’ve made it through so far). It is a good time to get acquainted with these performers as Earl Sweatshirt will be through town in May and Courtney Barnett will be visiting us in June. I have talked about Laura Marling and Action Bronson here before. For her part Laura Marling’s new record, Short Movie, is fantastic and as I said last week, should make her a strong contender for another Mercury Prize nomination. For his part, Action Bronson continues to astound. This newly released record, Mr. Wonderful, is Bronson’s major label debut and it strongly declares that this is not simply a rehash of the material from his mix tapes. The second half of this record is a complete reimagining of Bronson’s sound which takes it back the funk roots of hip-hop without compromising his signature flow. “City Boy Blues” is easily one of the best tracks I have heard this year (warning explicit lyrics).
In addition to these heavy hitters, hip-hop marvel Earl Sweatshirt released his new record, I Don't Like Shit, I Don't Go Outside: An Album By Earl Sweatshirt. On this release, Earl has truly found his voice. There is a confidence here not seen since his early work. Check out the track “Grief” below (warning explicit lyrics), there is a beautiful complexity here.
Finally, Australian folk rocker and songstress Courtney Barnett also made her major label debut with her record, Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit. This record is destined to make a large number of year end “best of” lists. Barnett is an incomparable lyricist whose musical technique does not subordinate the vocal line to the power of the band. She has brought the poetry of folk along with her into the realm of indie rock. Listen to “Pedestrian at Best” below.
In shows this week, tonight make sure to be at Tipitina’s for Sylvan Esso. This electronic duo produced my favorite record of last year. You can expect this show to be wall to wall hooks with absolutely soaring vocals. Make it a point to be there. On Friday and Saturday, Hogs for the Cause has put together what is easily the best musical lineup they have assembled so far. The musical highlights include: Drive-By Truckers, Moon Hooch (don’t miss these guys), Toubab Krewe and Strand of Oaks. The weather should be perfect so get out to City Park for excellent music, succulent pork and a worthy cause. If you’re in the mood for some jazz, pianist and composer Dick Hyman is in town this weekend. Hyman will be at Snug Harbor tonight (solo) and Saturday night (with Evan Christopher). Finally, remember that the Wednesday concerts at Lafayette Square are ongoing. This week Robin Barnes will be opening for The Revivalists. I’ll see you at the park.